‘Top Chef’ alum opens steakhouse in Lake Zurich

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LAGO Italian restaurant, which opened earlier this year in Lake Zurich, Illinois, is the latest venture from Italian-born celebrity chef Fabio Viviani. Viviani appeared on the reality TV series “Top Chef” in 2008, when he was voted “Fan Favorite.”

Through his group, Fabio Viviani Hospitality, he’s opened three dozen food establishments, restaurants, bars and event spaces, according to his website.

The Lake Zurich restaurant, however, is special. Viviani, a resident of nearby Barrington Hills, told the Daily Herald, “This is in my neighborhood, so it’s personal. We got a good turnout, it feels great.”

Steak is the main attraction at LAGO, with highlights such as prime bone-in rib-eye with roasted garlic and truffle butter, and bistecca alla Fiorentina, along with Wagyu short rib Bolognese and double-cut Aurelio’s pork chop. The menu also features house-made pasta and fresh seafood.

A number of dishes are prepared or finished tableside, including a Caprese salad that serves two to four people, the Daily Herald reported.

A LAGO staff member pulls, stretches and cuts fresh buffalo mozzarella at the table before assembling the Caprese and drizzling it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

The restaurant has a “sleek and sophisticated vibe inside and out,” and a “four-seasons” patio with walls that can be removed, weather permitting, according to the Daily Herald.

Last year, Viviani and his business partners launched Jars, a gourmet dessert franchise whose first location opened in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood.

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